NEWS

In Brief

TRANSPORT STRIKE

No public services in Athens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow There will be no service on all means of public transport serving the capital – bus, trolley, urban railway, metro – from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, as workers stage a work stoppage. Protesters are demanding a special bonus for working during the Olympic Games, as is the case for workers in other public sectors. They have threatened to press on with more strikes if their demands are not met. LETHAL FUMES Two die during inspection of cargo ship in Perama Two members of a private inspection team, who had been checking firefighting equipment aboard a cargo ship at a Perama shipyard on Monday, died after inhaling toxic carbon dioxide fumes, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The victims – identified as Michalis Zilotis and Manolis Kypraios – were found unconscious by crew members of the Elefantas. FIRE RISK Warning for today The country’s fire services and local authorities are on standby today after the General Secretariat for Civil Protection warned of an increased risk of forest fires around Athens and in eastern and western Attica, Evia, Corinthia, Viotia and the Argolid. A blaze on Salamina yesterday ravaged around 15 hectares of forest before firemen extinguished it. Early on Monday morning, a small fire that broke out in a storage area at the entrance to the main Olympic Stadium in Maroussi was extinguished before it could spread. Matsakis immunity Cyprus’s attorney general said yesterday that he would ask the European Parliament to lift the immunity of Cypriot MEP Marios Matsaksis so that police can probe bribery allegations against him. Matsakis has strongly refuted allegations that he sought a down payment of 10,0000 Cypriot pounds (17,000 euros) from a police officer to clear him of an attempted murder charge. Lighter ban The sale of lighters shaped like cigarettes, food or toys has been banned following a ministerial decision approved yesterday by Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou. Such lighters are to be immediately withdrawn from store shelves, according to the decision which aims to protect children. Path protection Synaspismos Left Coalition Deputy Alekos Alavanas yesterday tabled a question in Parliament asking the culture, Aegean and public works ministers to respond to the alleged destruction of a centuries-old paved path on the island of Tinos and its replacement by a dirt track. Alavanos asked what measures would be implemented «to protect the unique cultural heritage of a network of roads dating to the Middle Ages, of exceptional aesthetic value, and to stop their destruction.» Greek-Albanian ties Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos is to lead a high-level defense delegation on a two-day official visit to Tirana starting tomorrow. Spiliotopoulos is due to meet with his Albanian counterpart Pandeli Majko, President Alfred Moisiu, Prime Minister Fatos Nano and Archbishop Anastassios. Talks will focus on bilateral defense cooperation, the security situation in southeastern Europe and ties between NATO and the EU. Migrants detained A group of 39 illegal immigrants were yesterday being detained on Leros after coast guards spotted them on the nearby islet of Farmakonisi on Monday morning. The ethnic origin of the 33 men and six women was not made public. Transport info The Athens 2004 Organizing Committee said yesterday it has printed leaflets informing Athenians and visitors about how to travel in the capital during the Games using various forms of transport and also explains what traffic measures are being implemented near venues. More than 1.5 million leaflets are due to be delivered to homes and offices by July 15. Work site death Laborer Socrates Bouskas, 50, was fatally injured yesterday after falling off 10-meter-high scaffolding at the tunnel exit of the Egnatia Odos near the village of Lefkopetra in Imathia.